Since moving to LA, the main question I get asked is: “What are the main differences between NYC and LA?” And I usually respond: what do you mean? They’re so samesies….ummm NOT! I lived in LA when attending college at UCLA but at that point of my life I had never lived anywhere besides CA, so I didn’t have much to compare LA to (aside from Northern California, which draws many of its own differences). Since I have lived a majority of my adult life in NYC and I am now trying my hand at LA, I started to notice some, let’s call them, “interesting” differences between NYC and LA. So here they are: 5 differences between NYC and LA.
When the Side Hustle is the Main Hustle
The NYC hustle usually consists of people working 9-6 jobs then working on your passion on the side, jumping from events to events in between. LA is quite the opposite of that. People’s side hustles are just their actual jobs here. The gym classes are packed at 10:30 am when you would think people would be at work: why?! Because people don’t have conventional working hours here; they work gig to gig, project to project. (In NYC classes at that hour might have one person in attendance.) The hustle is still real here but it’s different, it’s a laid back any time of day hustle and it’s approached from that perspective.
Cars, Cars, Cars
Yes, LA is a driving city. After visiting cities like London and Tokyo and experiencing massive cities, that are so spread out – I see some comparisons to LA (although those cities, are much better facilitated by public transportation).
**Side bar: LA does have a metro (I know what the what?) and it’s literally some kind of enigma here. I’ve heard about it and people have mentioned they take it from time to time BUT DO THEY REALLY?!?! I’m skeptical.
Pardon me, I digress. If you don’t have wheels in LA, you’re going to be kind of stuck… Uber and car sharing services have made the city much more manageable but since it is so spread out, taking an UBER can be costly. There are neighborhoods that have easy to walk to coffee shops and cafes (like mine!). However, that is rare and even though my neighborhood does have some walkable spots you’re effectively walking on a thoroughfare to get there. LA blocks are not NYC blocks: these are long and large blocks that cars come down at nearly freeway speed.
DTLA (Downtown LA)
I have heard whisperings that DTLA is cool now (and I have even tested the waters myself). Back in the mid 2000’s (when I was in college) DTLA was like the part of Brooklyn (let’s say Bushwick) you just didn’t go. DTLA wasn’t a downtown hub with restaurants and interesting people to meet and I had never heard about people going there. In the more recent years, people are trying to make DTLA a thing. Well, I have to say, every time I do go to DTLA it hasn’t been my favorite but I do see the appeal. There is some big city charm to it, with a lot of cool restaurants and bars sprouting there. However, I’m not fully sold on it just yet.
Dogs, Dogs, Dogs
I always thought NYC was a huge dog city but LA may have it beat (and the temperate weather is a huge reason for that). I have already become well acquainted with all the dogs and their owners on my block (since I’m an adoptive dog Mom now). The dog parks are huge social scenes as well. One park, right below the Hollywood sign is a hot bed for hanging out and I’ve even had a celebrity sighting there already! (I saw Derek Hough from Dancing with the Stars and World of Dance! Our dogs even exchanged a sniff or two!)
It’s Never Sweater Weather
Yes, Los Angeles is always sunny and gets downright hot during the winter months. So having a winter wardrobe is really not a necessity here. (Fine: if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see I wore a sweater today, well because, fashion. And since it was a fashion choice, and not a practical one, I feel this point still stands.) Essentially you can wear your summer wardrobe year round in LA and you can mix and match a warmer piece with a summer piece but without the hassle of adding several layers.
There you have it: 5 differences between NYC and LA. Which city do you prefer?